Newspaper for Crossmaglen, South Armagh, Newry and Down.

Armagh GAA Cormac Leonard Commercials Championship


Holders knocked-out of Championship

Crossmaglen Rangers 2-22 Armagh Harps 1-15

Holders Armagh Harps bowed out of the championship as old nemesis Crossmaglen Rangers were faster out of the blocks and were 9-1 up inside 18 minutes and but for wastefulness could have been even further ahead.

The champions to their credit never gave up and their finishing total of 1-15 could have won many a match but not this one as Rangers, despite starting without the named James Morgan, Tony Kernan and Miceal McCabe rolled back the clock as they clocked up 2-22 the same as they did in the 2015 final win over Harps 2-22 to 0-10 having beaten them 4-14 to 0-9 in the previous years final.

Conor Murphy gave Harps the lead inside the first minute but it would be 21 more minutes before their second point arrived by which time Cross had rattled off 9 without reply as well as recording near as many wides. Paul Hughes levelled before a super sideline kick from Aaron Kernan gave Rangers a lead they never relinquished as points from Mickey McNamee, Aaron Kernan (free), Kyle Carragher, Rian O’Neill (0-3 1 free) and Pauric Stuttard followed before Harps hit three on the trot as Lorcan Oliver, Charlie Vernon and Ryan McShane before Decky McKenna recorded their first wide after 27 minutes. A Rian O’Neill free interrupted the Harps flow but a second for McShane left it double scores 10-5 on the half hour. Added time produced 4 more points shared equally as a Conor Murphy free was followed by a second point for Mickey Mac and a first of the game for Oisin O Neill but Harps Con Steveson closed out the point scoring to leave it 12-7 at the short whistle. A very smart play and save by Cross keeper McEvoy prevented a Harps goal inside the first 10 minutes which could have altered the course of this match.

Rangers blitzed Harps in the opening 3 minutes of the restart to effectively put this match to bed. Johnny McKeever and Rian O Neill added to the Cross tally before the lead was stretched to 10 courtesy of a well taken Kyle Carragher goal. A minute later the Harps coffin could have been closed as a Rian O Neill effort came back off the crossbar. Ultan Lennon and Paul Hughes traded points before Caolan McQuaid left it 0-9 to 1-15. That nail already talked about was delivered by Rian O Neill and hit home by Johnny McKeever as he was sent clear for Rangers second goal. 2-15 to 0-9. Harps hit back with a trio of points 2 for Conor Murphy with one for Joe McElroy sandwiched in between. Cumiskey, McKeever and Carragher bagged three on the trot for Cross taking us into the last 10 minutes. Simon McCoy had point number 13 for Harps before a Murphy cross shot across goal probably hit a defender but ended up in the back of the net 1-13 to 2-18. The match trend continued as every time Harps hit a few scores Cross responded in kind as the O Neill brothers Rian and Oisin added to their personal totals. An Ultan Lennon converted free was cancelled by a Rico Kelly point as Rian O’Neill from a free brought Cross to 2-22 leaving Harps Tom O’Hare to close out the scoring with a point which left the final score 2-22 to 1-16

Ballymacnab easy their way into last four

Ballymacnab 1-10 Killeavy 0-3

League champions Ballymacnab eased their way into the last 4 of the championship with a very convincing 1-10 to 0-3 win over Killeavy. Fresh from their resounding win over Pearse Og last week Killeavy were expected to give the ’Nab their fill of it but credit the winners who had their homework on the opposition done to a tee.

Pushing up on the Killeavy goalkeepers kick-outs the ’Nab kept their opponents pinned in their own half for long periods as they dominated possession. Two score in the opening half and one in the second for a Killeavy side that scored 3-12 last week tells the story of the game indeed the second half only produced 5 scores in total with 1-3 to the winners. By the time Killeavy opened their account on 20 minutes through Michael Murphy whose goal attempt was saved at the expense of a point by goalkeeper Sean Hughes. An opening brace of points from Jack Grugan were followed by 3 more from the boots of Ryan Watters, Rory Grugan and Gavin McParland as the ‘Nab led 5-0. Rory Grugan and Kyle Mallon exchanged points an an added time Rory Grugan free left it 0-7 to 0-2 at half time.

A dogged second half followed as Killeavy attack could make no impact on the scoreboard whilst their packed defence kept scores at a premium. Points from Gavin McParland, Oisin McGivern and Jack Grugan had extended the lead to 10-2 before an amazing scoreless sequence of 21 minutes followed. The score drought ended dramatically as Rory Grugan dusted himself off having been fouled for a penalty to slot the ball to the net. Just when it looked like the losers would end the half scoreless Miceal McNamee added their third point with the last kick of the match.

Disappointing local derby

Silverbridge 0-7 Cullyhanna 2-13 

The highlight of this disappointing local derby was a brilliant hat-trick of saves by Silverbridge goalkeeper Gerard McGarvey, twice denying Ross McQuillian and Eugene Casey which kept the Bridge in touch until the final 10 minutes. 

Aidan Nugent opening the scoring in 3 minutes a Ronan Reel free levelled matters but once Conor Nugent fired Pat’s in front they never looked back. Eugene Casey and Shea Hoey added points to leave it 4-1.

Seamus Kelly was on target with a second Bridge point before McGarvey’s brilliant save saw Pearce Casey point the resulting ’45’. Paddy Reel’s free reduced the deficit to 5-3 after 21 minutes. An Aidan Nugent free increased the lead before Pat’s grabbed a bit of breathing space as Shea Hoey burst in along the end line fisting the ball across the goal with the inrushing Aidan Nugent fisting to the net. There was no respite for the Bridge as Conor Nugent, Shea Hoey and Mal Mackin points followed the goal. In added on time a Ronan Reel free made it 0-4 to 1-9 at half-time.

The second half started with Jarly Og Burns racing through the middle to knock over a great point. A placed ball by Aidan Nugent negated that Bridge score and it would be another 8 minutes before their second point of the half arrived, from the boot of mid-field Peter Carragher.  

Ross McQullian produced a sublime point, replied to by one from play by Ronan Reel 1-11 to 0-7 after 49 minutes. 

With the game dying on its feet, the outcome was put beyond doubt as Conor Nugent cut inside a couple of defenders to blast to the net, for once leaving the Bridge keeper helpless. Immediately after the goal, McGarvey got a hand to deflect McQuillian’s goal bound effort over the bar. 

Shea Hoey, with the last point of the game, left St Pat’s into the last 4 on a 2-13 to 0-7 scoreline. 

Scores: St. Pat’s – Aidan Nugent 1-3, Conor Nugent 1-2, Shea Hoey 0-3, Ross McQullian 0-2, Mal Mackin 0-1, Eugene Casey 0-1, Pearce Casey ’45 (0-1). 

Silverbridge – Ronan Reel 0-3, Paddy Reel 0-1, Seamus Kelly 0-1, Jarly Og 0-1, Peter Carragher 0-1. 


Nip and tuck throughout

Shane O Neill’s 0-15 Clonmore 0-13

This Intermediate championship outing was nip and tuck throughout with the outcome in the balance right to the final whistle. The teams were level at 7-7 at half time one of 4 times they were level over the course of the game as Clonmore 3 times in the second half held a 2 point advantage but once Shanes went in front courtesy of Greg McCabe with 13 minutes left on the clock the Camlough boys saw off the Clonmore challenge to pick up a semi-final berth. Shanes raced into an early 2 point lead as Connaire Mackin and Mark Girvan found their range but Ruairi Cunningham halved the deficit before a Mackin free made it 3-1. Ryan Quinn cancelled out a Ryan O’Hagan point to make it 

double scores 4-2 but James Grimley cut the deficit to the minimum A Mackin free was followed by a brace of frees from O Hagan to tie matters at 5 all. A second point from Ryan Quinn was followed by a first from Greg McCabe to give Shanes a 2 point cushion as the short whistle approached. Clonmore rallied late in the half as points from Ryan Donnelly and Cahal Cunningham saw them retire at the break on level terms at 7 all.

In direct contrast to the first half Clonmore courtesy of a brace of points from O’Hagan inside the opening 4 minutes had them in front for the first time As the half developed it became almost a straight shoot-out between O Hagan for Clonmore and Mackin for Shanes. O Hagan bagged all of his teams second half scores 0-6 which was matched by Mackin who had the addition of points from the McCabe brothers Gregory 47 minutes and Mark 58 minutes which in the end were the two points between the sides at the final whistle as Shanes advanced to the semi-finals 0-15 to 0-13.

Mullaghbawn through to semi’s

Mullaghbawn 1-11 Forkhill 0-7

Barry Shannon open the scoring in this derby game with a point, which sprang to life on three minutes as mid-fielder Cormac Smyth with a cool finish to the net following an excellent ball from Kieran Grant. 

A second Shannon point was cancelled out by an Eddie English free, as Jamar Hall picked up a yellow card. Smith was unlucky not to grab a second goal, as successive attempts came back off the same post. 

As Forkhill recorded their fifth wide, Kieran Grant pointed for Mullaghbawn, immediately followed by a super score from English. On 20 minute Eoghan McDonnell from play left it 1-4 to 0-2 before Jamar Hall, from play ended a sixteen minute scoreless spell for Forkhill. Grant and Kieran Smith traded points with an English free completing the first half scoring as Mullaghbawn lead 1-6 to 0-4. 

The second half began with a flurry of wides from both teams and the opening score came from Luke Owens who converted his first touch to extended the Mullaghbawn lead to six points. Half back Pauric Toner replied with a Forkhill point with a second follow up point from Paddy Burns. Mullaghbawn’s Eoghan McDonnell added his super second point, with 15 minutes remaining,. Eddie English booted over his 4th point with his 5th the best of the match on 52 minutes. Cormac Toner scored the last Forkhill point as a Paddy Burns goal chance flew across the goal and wide at the far post. Man of the Match Eddie English knocked over the last score, his sixth point to leave the finalscore to 1-11 to 0-7. 

Scores Mullaghbawn: Eddie English 0-6, Cormac Smith 1-0, Eoghan McDonnell 0-2, Kieran Grant 0-2, Luke Owens 0-1. 

Forkhill, Barry Shannon 0-2, Pauric Toner 0-1, Patrick Burns 0-1, Jamar Hall 0-1, Cormac Toner 0-1, Kieran Smith 0-1